Benefits of the artificial disc: PROS & CONS
- Retains motion of the vertebrae.
- Prevents damage to other levels.
- No bone graft required.
- Quicker recovery.
- Less painful surgery than a fusion.
- Less blood loss during surgery.
Spine surgeons may be cautious about artificial discs because:
- Wear and tear on artificial disc can require revision surgery in 10 to 20 years which can be complex.
- Disc implants only address rotational forces, not the up and down shock absorbing of the natural disc.
- Overweight people can wear out a lumbar disc prematurely.
- Newer artificial discs are in development that may be better.